This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
from the family albums as inspiration, decorated her cardboard coffin. Jean said: “Pictures of their home and gardens


were meticulously painted around the sides, with the stable yard, fields full of sheep, the woodland and the meandering stream with a bridge, where they used to play Pooh sticks as small children. “As they painted, they laughed and cried and


remembered their Moomin. “Her great grandchildren were tasked


with brightly coloured tissue paper garlands, which decorated the funeral car for their great grandmother’s final journey.” And mourners had their own special way of


saying goodbye too. “Everyone was invited to write messages on


white cloud shaped stickers and place them on the sky blue lid of the coffin. “The air was full of celebration as people


remembered their fondest memories of their Moomin and the Mary they knew for many years. “But one of Mary’s dogs, Rumpus, sat beside her coffin and would not be moved until he had said his final goodbye to his mistress.” said Jean. Mary’s three children Anna, Jo and Roger


walked in front of the car as it moved slowly to St Andrew’s Church in Ipplepen. A candle was lit for Mary’s daughter, Felicity, who could not attend the service. Jean was invited by the family to officiate at a memorial celebration for both John and Mary after Mary’s funeral.


Jean said: “I felt honoured to be invited by the


family to be involved in the service. “It was on the first spring-like day that


we had this year and was so beautiful and everyone got involved.” Many residents in the village dropped off


tea-time treats in the hall for after the service and, once everyone was gathered, a procession headed by Mary and John’s children led everyone to the clearing. Jo, Felicity, Anna and Roger carried pictures of their parents to the woodlands, passing near to their old family home, where they lived for 43 years.


Jean led the ceremony as a One Spirit


Interfaith Minister and explained that Mary’s and John’s ashes would be mingled together and scattered in the woodland – a place that was very close to the couple’s hearts – by their family and friends. Seashells were used by the mourners to


spread the ashes in the woodlands. Each took a little scoop – or a handful - and took it to a little part of the clearing where they said goodbye and private prayers on their own. Drums were played in the clearing, soothing the atmosphere and calling everyone together for the procession back to the village hall. In the village hall, family photographs and


Mary’s own paintings were on display, while everyone talked about their memories of the couple, read poetry and played music. The memorial celebrations were filmed and


Jean said she was very grateful to the family for allowing it. She said: “The family were incredibly open


and showed very willing to share the joyous occasions very publicly. “I hope that this will allow more people, who


want their own services personalising, to come forward and show that what is usually a sombre, even depressing event can be a celebration of someone’s life.” The memorial ceremony was written and


conducted, with the help of Mary and John’s family, by Jean Francis. She is a One Spirit Interfaith Minister, trained by the One Spirit Interfaith Foundation, who specialises in arranging life and memorial celebrations, ideally prior to need. Visit www.pre-needfuneralplanning.co.uk for


more information about arranging your own memorial service.


Farewell Magazine


71


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84